California, Jan 27: Retired basketball star Kobe Bryant passed away on Sunday (January 26) in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, confirmed Associated Press.
American news outlet TMZ reported that Bryant was involved in a crash in Calabasas, a city in California, around 10 am local time. Kobe (41) was travelling with at least three other people in his private helicopter when it crashed, the report added further.
TMZ said eyewitnesses told how they heard the helicopter's engine stuttering before it went down and a fire broke out, with emergency services responding.
His 13-year-old daughter Gianna was also present with the former NBA star and she too died in the fatal crash.
BREAKING: Retired NBA superstar Kobe Bryant has died in helicopter crash in Southern California.— The Associated Press (@AP) January 26, 2020
The Los Angeles County Sheriff said on Twitter that five people were on board the chopper when it went down and there were no survivors.
The news of former LA Lakers' star spread like a wildfire with sporting fraternity and fans condoling the demise of Bryant. Bryant, who retired in 2016, played his entire 20-year NBA career with the Lakers and finished his career as one of the best to ever play the game.
No no no I don't believe. pic.twitter.com/QPhLNy7Kd6— Yohan Blake (@YohanBlake) January 26, 2020
Bryant spent 20 years with the Lakers between 1996 and 2016, spending his entire career with the Los Angeles team.
A five-time NBA champion, Bryant was selected with the 13th overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets in the 1996 draft before being traded to the Lakers.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement today regarding the passing of Kobe Bryant pic.twitter.com/P88GwIwmYV— NBA (@NBA) January 26, 2020
Bryant also made 18 All-Star teams, featuring in 17 successive selections between 2000 and 2016, while he was a two-time Olympic gold medallist.
The Lakers famously retired both of Bryant's jerseys - the numbers eight and 24 - making him the only player in the team's history to receive that honour.
I just brought this with me from my trip to Sweden.— Jonathan Larsson (@Reinforce) January 26, 2020
I was 14, living in the middle of nowhere in Sweden, when I traded another young kid for this jersey on our school yard.
Kobe's global impact cannot be understated. A legend in every sense of the word. I'm devastated. pic.twitter.com/r9L3vLWEo5
In NYC, at our upfronts, Kobe was backstage and all he wanted to talk about was coaching his daughter’s team. Such pure joy. I keep thinking of that video of he and his daughter at the Lakers game. Those girls....his family. My goodness, man.— Scott Van Pelt (@notthefakeSVP) January 26, 2020
Kobe was one of the most enigmatic, complicated, interesting, thought provoking figures ever in sports. The type of guy who’s athletic ability on the court & mental approach off the court made me question how he was even the same species as us normal ppl. Dude was just different— KFC (@KFCBarstool) January 26, 2020
We have no words to express how shocked we are to hear of the tragic passing of one of the greatest sportsmen of all time and Rossonero fan, Kobe Bryant. All our thoughts are with the families of those affected by this tragic accident. You will forever be missed, Kobe 🙏❤️🖤 pic.twitter.com/FOd365chEL— AC Milan (@acmilan) January 26, 2020
Saddened to hear about the tragic demise of Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna & others on-board the helicopter.— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) January 27, 2020
My condolences to his family, friends and fans across the world. #KobeBryant pic.twitter.com/N8B4Tcr4KU
So sad to hear the heartbreaking news of the deaths of Kobe and his daughter Gianna. Kobe was a true legend and inspiration to so many. Sending my condolences to his family and friends and the families of all who lost their lives in the crash. RIP Legend💔 pic.twitter.com/qKb3oiDHxH— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) January 26, 2020
Kobe was a legend on the court and just getting started in what would have been just as meaningful a second act. To lose Gianna is even more heartbreaking to us as parents. Michelle and I send love and prayers to Vanessa and the entire Bryant family on an unthinkable day.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 26, 2020
I woke up this morning with the horrible news of the tragic death of one of the greatest sportsman in the world. Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and other passengers. My condolences to his wife and families. I am in shock.— Rafa Nadal (@RafaelNadal) January 27, 2020
Such Heartbreaking news about Kobe Bryant. I can’t believe it. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones.... May he Rest In Peace. ❤️— Katie Cassidy (@MzKatieCassidy) January 26, 2020
Cant be man, can’t be, surely not!!!!!! https://t.co/hmVkLMg3o3— Ian bishop (@irbishi) January 26, 2020